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Violence And Displacement In Yemen Exacerbate Child Malnutrition

UNICEF has warned that “[c]ontinuing fighting in various parts of Yemen, which has recently displaced thousands of people especially in Abyan Governorate and the Arhab District of Sana’a, could compromise the nutritional status of those affected … potentially increase[ing] morbidity and mortality rates, especially among children under five,” IRIN reports. While “[t]he International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reported in December 2010 that Yemen had the highest prevalence of child malnutrition among all Middle East and North African countries … the condition of many children had been worsened by displacement,” Geert Cappelaere, a UNICEF representative in Yemen, told the news service.

“A recent survey by aid agencies in the Haradh, Bakeel Al Meer and Mustaba districts of Hajjah Governorate found global acute malnutrition (GAM) among children under five at 39 percent, of which 8.5 percent were severe cases,” IRIN writes. “‘The preliminary levels of reported GAM are concerning and exceed the emergency threshold, which is indicative that the situation is deteriorating despite existing interventions in Haradh since December 2009,’ according to a situation report issued on 16 August by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs,” the news service notes (8/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.